Downloading your brain may seem like science fiction, but some neuroscientists think it’s possible and soon to be a reality, So, how many steps away is humanity from downloading consciousness into a computer? We ask our guest, Ryan D Gable (author, researcher and radio host) this very question.
Radio Wasteland: You know, how many steps away technologically are we really from being able to download ourselves onto a computer? You know, it’s like a, it’s in science fiction. It’s talked about all the time by the first generation that’s gonna live forever. You know, how many steps are way are we from that? Realistically,
Ryan D Gable: that’s a really great question that I rhetorically asked myself too. And I think that there are different ways in which we could ask it and interpret the question itself. One of the ways I interpret that question is by looking at the way we utilize social media and the way that we use technology today, whether it is a computer or a phone, the way that we upload our information already as a means of social interaction as a means of communication, I believe is a huge step in uploading ourselves into the systems already.
Ryan D Gable: It’s obviously different than uploading. What people say is consciousness, which we explore in the technological lakes. Her book, it’s, it’s not something you can upload. It’s, it’s not something tangible you can put into a computer, uh, at least philosophically speaking, uh, metaphysically speaking. But you can put the data and the patterns of the personality into a computer, how people buy things, how people interact, the stimuli that drives, uh, action. And there are systems at, um, I mean major universities like Purdue university has a huge, uh, computer system where they feed in all this real-world data from our digital interactions. And then with that data, they use algorithms and what I imagine as some form of artificial intelligence in this process to determine what people are going to do in these, they called our real-world simulation in a simulation so that they can then use artificial stimuli, drive this simulation, see where it goes naturally, and then started over again with real-world information and try to stimulate the right things to move society forward and their simulations in the direction that they choose.
Ryan D Gable: And I’m not sure what direction they’re choosing, but if you think about it from that point of view, with all the information we’ve uploaded already, uh, with Amazon saying, Hey, we can send you packages before you order them. We know what you’re going to do with cameras on your computer. They watch your eyes, they know how, you know, if your heart starts beating more, more, uh, uh, uh, quicker, more rapidly. Um, your pupils dilate. If you show interest in a product that they track where your mouse goes on the screen, uh, banks do that as well. That was in the New York Times a few months ago. So they know what you’re going to do when you’re going to do it. And before you are going to do it just based on pattern recognition and algorithms. And that’s just from the information we’ve, we’ve uploaded beyond that. Elon Musk like we were discussing in the last segment has taken that a step further into, uh, more of, of an integration into the merging of man and machine physically.
Ryan D Gable: But we’ve also seen that for a long time too because in the book we go through a variety of steps. It’s the word you use to a variety of stats where we have handheld devices, we can hold them, we can always put those down and walk away from them though. Then we have wearable devices, you know, like your, your smartwatch. You know, people have like Bluetooth headphones, the hang on their neck so they can listen to music and things like that. And then you have things that are more attachable to the body. Uh, some people are, this is a thing now I think at some universities people are getting, um, like led lights and bedded under their skin, uh, microchips and yeah, that just sounds weird and that there’s no benefit to it except like, Hey, check this out. I’ve got, you know, a red light under my, under my skin.
Ryan D Gable: Um, so you have things like that and then also bio stamps, which are electronic tattoos. Beyond that, then you start getting into the more direct forms of modification of the body or alteration of the body, like the microchip and Neurolink. And then the fifth step in that process that I go into, um, in the technological elixir book is basically replacing organic life with synthetic life. So like in Star Wars where you know, Anakin gets, uh, his legs cut off and you’ve replaced them with, you know, with, with mechanics. Uh, Luke gets his hand cut off replacement with mechanics, but, but we’re looking at doing that yes, for artificial organs in 3D printing and there’s a been a great benefit there. But then you’re going to was a video game as it called, um, deuce X or something, whether they got like this, this division between people that want to become machine and people that don’t want to become machine and people that are kind of in the middle.
Ryan D Gable: So it creates this rift in society. I forget the name of the game, but we’ve already in a way reached that point where there are major divides between people who want to incorporate themselves into these machines that think it’s fun and they’re going to live forever. What you alluded to, and people like myself, who I just, I want to live as simply as possible and limit my interaction with these kinds of things. So whether or not we get to that point, I think it’s going to come about. I think it’s going to come about without us realizing it. To answer your question,
Radio Wasteland: right? Yeah. Uh, I’ve, I’ve talked to people about that and tried to make it clear that, you know, it’d take a very finite set of situations, I think for the robot apocalypse to happen or whatever like that, that really we’re going to see a mutual evolution moving forward together where, uh, the human and the machine blur and we’re not really sure who’s what anymore.
Ryan D Gable: Yeah. And I think all those steps come together simultaneously because we, we’ve got handhelds, we’ve got wearable devices and fusible devices and injectable devices and some people are getting 3D printed organs already. All that’s happening at the same time while we work with computers and phones and things like this to upload our information. So it’s all happening at once. And I don’t think it will be a light switch that comes on like a movie with an orchestra playing behind it. It’s not going to be like, um, I Robot or AI, that movie with Robin Williams. It’s going to be a slow integration process, a slow incrementalism that whether or not you consider it an incapacity to be some kind of far East agenda, it’ll come about as a result of what you could consider to be just a natural technological evolution. Whether that’s being directed by madmen, you know or, competent scientists.